Backpacker haven in Mantanita

Trip Start Oct 07, 2010
Trip End Mar 13, 2011

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Tiki limbo

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Sunday, December 19, 2010

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After the debacles of trying to sort out the Brazilian visa, the trip to Mantanita was chilled. It was raining in Cuenca, so the trip through Coca? National park to Guayaquil was quite cloudy. When clear enough, it was quite a stark and stunning landscape. Coming down the Pacific side of the mountain you could see the cloud forest was very used to being in clouds! :-) Once onto the Pacific plain, my Spanish lessons I was listening to got boring so I watched a poor quality Hollywood movie in Spanish. I can understand almost everyone, I just need to concentrate. Guayaquil has a 3 level bus station, quite impressive really. They charge a 20c fee via a paper ticket for using it and that maintains it and funds upgrades, quite impressive. The next bus to Mantanita was much better and saw some very funny Mexican comedy.
Mantanita is a cute backpacker haven. Lots of bars and clubs, quite similar to the Thai island style. I went put for dinner with some peeps I met on the bus, and had a very fun night dancing with spoon all night in the sand to a covers band.
The next day went by bus to Puerto Lopez, an hour north, with 2 of the peeps I was out with the night before, a friendly Brazilian and Ecuadorian girl. We rented a boat for $15 and went to an island off shore. The place was known for having birds similar to the Galapagos and certainly had a lot of frigates and pelicans, and quite a few blue footed boobies! :-) We went snorkeling twice and chilled out on a remote island beach after wars. The colour of the sand was great, so I got carried away with the pictures as you can tell.
On the way back we stopped at an Eco resort and had a late lunch, early dinner. The presentation of the food was quite original and the setting very cool.
All in all, quite impressed by this stretch of Ecuador, tropical, vert warm water (the Humbolt doesn't make it this far north).
Big Sat night that was a lot of fun, almost getting into trouble with the Police when a group of us went skinny dipping. Sunday involved riding a bike around the area but it turned a little short lived after the pedal fell off! Good to relax and enjoy the village.
Monday and I am off to Quito to speak with the Brazilian embassy and see what's possible So much colder and rainier in Quito!
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